DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story might seem a little blasphemous considering the timing. I finished it the morning before "Loss" aired. It started as a drabble and evolved into something that has consumed me for the past 2 months and while I'm glad to see it finally finished, I'm sad to see it go. I hope it's welcomed in a time when we are all still reeling (in a good way) from the overt Alex/Olivia 'ship in "Loss". There is a prequel of sorts in the works, I had actually started it before this one, but the muse had other plans, I guess. Special thanks to my girl for giving good beta... among other things.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Balancing Act
By Heathers

Part One

Alex twisted her key in the lock and shouldered the door open. Weary from a week of too many late nights at the office, she dropped her ever-present weekend work next to the front door. She would worry about that later.

Weaving her way through the small apartment she gradually became aware of a subtle difference in the space. The air wasn't as stale as it usually was after twelve hours of vacancy. She began to take mental stock of the placement of things.

A familiar spicy scent lingered in the hallway. Rounding the corner to her bedroom she found the source. Her girlfriend stretched languidly across the bed.

"Hey," Abbie's smoky voice filled the room.

Alex's mouth hung open. "How did-"

"I caught an early flight out of DC. I wanted to surprise my girl. Did it work?" Abbie raised her eyebrows hopefully.

"It did." Alex smiled for the first time in what seemed like weeks.

"Then get over here." Abbie lifted herself onto one elbow and patted the mattress.

Alex sat on the edge of the bed leaning into her girlfriend's warm embrace. It had been a month and a half since they had been in the same room. The phone calls weren't cutting it anymore, the distance was oppressive. Alex wondered when she was going to wake up drooling on her desk at the office. This was too good to be true.

Abbie's hair spilled across Alex's face. She breathed in the enticing scent of Abbie's shampoo, perfume, and lotion. The cocktail of scents was intoxicating. "Thank you."

Abbie smiled against Alex's neck. "It wasn't exactly a selfless act, but you're welcome." She punctuated the sentiment by pressing a kiss onto the blonde's shoulder. She started to pull away but Alex tightened her arms around her. "Hey now, we can't stay like this all weekend."

"Why not?" came a muffled reply.

"Because that wouldn't be any fun." Abbie fell back onto the bed pulling her girlfriend along with her. Alex let her heels fall to the floor before adjusting herself against Abbie. "That's better." Abbie's hands brushed the blonde hair from Alex's eyes as they searched her face.

"I missed your face." Alex's fingers lifted to caress the angles of Abbie's face carefully, her thumb playing in the divot in the brunette's chin.

Abbie smiled. "You're such a girl."

"It's your fault. I didn't used to be this clingy, you know." There was a neurotic note in her tone.

"It's okay, I like it." Abbie craned her neck, softly kissing Alex, who sighed at the contact.

"I've missed that, too."

Abbie pressed another kiss against Alex's lips silencing her reverie. She kissed her over and over again, each longer than the last. Her mouth captured Alex's bottom lip between her own, her tongue toying with the soft flesh, slightly swollen from their kisses. The contact sent an unexpected jolt through her girlfriend and before she knew what was happening Alex was pressing back hard against her mouth, searching.

Abbie rolled on top of Alex, straddling her hips, arms on either side of the blonde's head. Her dark hair cascaded around their faces, curtaining the women away from everything surrounding them. The rhythm of their kiss intensified and Alex's hips started to move in time with her tongue. Abbie groaned as she was reminded of Alex's ability to make a kiss its own event rather than simply foreplay.

A hand left the space next to Alex's head and traveled down her side to the hem of her shirt. Cool fingers snaked their way beneath the fabric, playing the ripples of her ribs as they peeled the shirt away from her body.

Alex's hands traveled up the backs of the brunette's thighs, catching her fingers in the belt loops at the curve her hips. She tugged at the well worn button fly; the rapid fire pops signaling their release from the opposing fabric. Alex's fingers searched the soft skin formerly hidden beneath the denim, the small curve of Abbie's navel, across her belly button, under the aged t-shirt to the swell of her breasts. Alex groaned against her mouth as she realized Abbie wasn't wearing a bra. The smile that tugged at the corner of Abbie's mouth quickly disintegrated as Alex squeezed her nipples eliciting a moan in return.

"Jesus," Abbie broke their kiss, panting.

Taking advantage of the situation, Alex moved her head to capture her lover's breast with her mouth. Her tongue swirled maddening patterns against Abbie's skin. The brunette submitted and stretched backwards, pulling her shirt over her head. She threw it onto the floor, her hands returning to tangle in her lover's blonde hair, cradling Alex against her breast.

Abbie was quickly becoming overwhelmed with sensations, the wet warmth of Alex's mouth, the lithe arms brushing against her sides, cool fingertips sweeping over her spine. It was everything she had yearned for during their separation. She was finally as close as she could be to the woman she loved; skin to skin, a heartbeat away. She tried to focus but her mind spun out of control as her body reacted to the over-stimulation.

The brunette grunted, lifting Alex's mouth to her own once again. Abbie smelled her perfume on the other woman's face, the heat of their skin transferring the scent back and forth. Alex found herself being relieved of her clothes as Abbie's nimble fingers worked swiftly at the clasp of her bra, and zipper of her skirt. The women wrestled with the physics of removing the rest of their clothes in their current position before giving up. In the briefest of moments they separated and shed the last remnants of clothing before frantically returning to their embrace.

Abbie covered her lover with her lanky frame, lavishing attention on the woman's neck. Her mouth devoured every inch of bare skin it touched, her hands kneading, caressing, sliding over the only body she knew better than her own.

For her part, Alex weathered the storm that besieged her body moaning her lover's name, hearing the familiar callback as it reverberated against the walls of her bedroom. Abbie's hair trailed her kisses across Alex's skin tickling as it went.

When she couldn't handle the seemingly aimless pursuits of her lover's hands any longer, Alex encircled Abbie's wrist and pulled it towards her desire. Abbie's hand slipped between the blonde's thighs without further prompting, cupping her before slipping a finger into the slickness she found there. Alex's hips lifted off the bed, thighs flexing with exertion.

The fingers between her legs taunted Alex as they traced the wet curves within. Her hips chased the contact, never quite catching up with her partner's elusive fingertips until they delved deeper, pushing into her in one fluid motion.

Abbie's mouth stopped its exploration, her forehead falling against Alex's shoulder as her fingers sunk into the abyss. She was utterly surrounded, the heat squeezed her fingers. Her mouth hung open in near-disbelief as she seemed to mime the moan spilling from her lover's lips.

Abbie's hand began a slow and exacting rhythm. Alex's outstretched arm found skin, she squeezed the knee that pressed into the mattress before following the well-known route up Abbie's thigh. A ripple of pleasure coursed through Abbie as her lover's knuckles skipped across her skin. Her mouth was on Alex's neck again, teeth scraping roughly as slender fingers pushed into her warmth.

The slow luxurious treatment was brief, the women's long-denied desire mounting as each moment passed. Abbie was the first to break their tempo. Her hand sped, her excitement apparent in her fragmented murmurs against her lover's neck. Alex was swept away, her hips grinding against Abbie's desperate strokes.

Abbie's hips rocked, meeting each thrust, pressing hard against a perfectly positioned thumb. It wasn't long before Alex's body grew taut, her hand tangling in the dark hair of her lover, clutching her tightly as her body gave in to the pleasure. Alex moaned, the vibrations tickling Abbie's lips before assailing her ears.

The deluge of sensations hit Abbie hard. Her teeth closed on Alex's neck as her own release poured over her. The sharp contact wracked her lover's body again before her mouth released Alex's throat.

The brunette collapsed, her chest heaving, heart pounding against Alex's. When breathing came easier and the warm tingle of afterglow blanketed them. Abbie lifted her head to study her lover, radiant in the aftermath. Her blonde hair fanned against the pillow like a crooked halo, sweat beading on her forehead, the pale skin of her chest blushing from their exertion. Her eyes opened slowly, sparkling as they connected with Abbie's.

"That didn't really last as long as it did in my head on the flight over here."

"You can make it up to me later." Alex stroked the arm across her waist, a smile playing on her lips.

"Mmm, I like the sound of that," Abbie said, stretching the sex from her muscles. She draped a leg over Alex and cuddled closer.

The women lay together in enjoying the comfortable stillness that had been absent for too long. A faint gurgle broke the silence.

"Hungry?" Abbie smirked up at the blonde.

Alex slapped her hand over her stomach, like a parent covering a child's mouth after saying something inappropriate. Her embarrassment was apparent in the shy look she gave her lover. "Sorry," she said meekly.

"Don't be. We can't live on love alone."

"Now who's the girl?" Alex teased.

Abbie ignored the comment, pulling away. "Come on, let's get something to eat." She extended a hand, tugging the blonde to her feet.

Part Two

After being disappointed when her girlfriend's empty refrigerator failed to yield any edible dinner options, Abbie perused the pile of tattered take out menus next to the phone. It was obvious how Alex kept herself fed in her absence.

Abbie sighed, dropping the pile. "Do you want to go out?"

Alex wrapped her arms around her girlfriend's waist, pressing her cheek against Abbie's shoulder. "Not tonight." She was reluctant to admit that all she wanted to do was cling to Abbie. Even after their fast and furious romp, she needed the proximity. She needed it to remind her that it was real. She wasn't going to wake up to an empty bed tomorrow, but she only had two days with Abbie. Alex tried not to break it down into hours in her head, but the clock ticked loudly against the kitchen wall, mocking her.

Abbie straightened the menus into a neat pile. "Pizza?" She turned in Alex's arms to face her.

"Sure," she nodded.

Abbie stroked her back through the thin shirt as leaned towards her to steal a kiss. Alex's heart skipped a beat. The brunette pulled away abruptly. "Good, I'll have Canadian bacon and pineapple." Abbie slipped free from their embrace and jogged off towards the bedroom, her laughter fading away as she disappeared around the corner.

"Hey! I'm not calling!" Alex called after her, but it was pointless. They always did this. Getting Abbie to call for take out was like pulling teeth. Alex hated it too, but Abbie was just so much better at conjuring up situations to get out of the disagreeable task. She stood there pouting melodramatically until she heard the water start in the bathroom. The faster she called in the order, the more time she'd have with her girlfriend's soapy body.

She had slipped into the bathroom silently. The mirror was foggy already. Alex watched her lover through the opaque curtain, her curves casting a delicious shadow as she moved. She dropped her clothes in the pile Abbie had started and peered behind the curtain.

Abbie's back was to her, hands in her hair. Alex let her eyes travel over her body, enjoying the thrill that ran through her as she watched the intimate moment. She stepped into the tub behind the brunette, snaking her arms around her waist. Abbie stiffened at the unexpected touch, relaxing when Alex's mouth pressed into her neck. She turned in her lover's arms, bringing her hands to Alex's face before capturing her lips.

Abbie stepped backwards, pulling the blonde into the steady stream of water, letting it rain down over her. Beneath the stream their hands traveled the curves of each other's bodies, their mouths continuing the exploration they had started earlier. The silkiness of Abbie's tongue as it slipped through her lips coupled with the smoothness of the water cascading off her body was crippling.

Her knees felt weak as her lover spread a thick lather of suds across her back and down to her ass. When the soapy hand traveled across her stomach, Alex had to cling to Abbie's shoulders to keep from falling over. She wished there was more time. She knew the pizza would be there soon, but she couldn't keep from interrupting Abbie as she washed herself.

Their hands were innocent; their caresses sensual without being sexual. More than a display of affection, the soft touches conveyed the underlying devotion. That despite the inconvenient living arrangement it was worth it for moments like this one, for the simple companionable silence and proximity.

Talking was highly overrated, they had decided. It was the bread and butter of their profession but when it came to their relationship talking was all they had for months at a time. If it was between philosophical phone conversations every day of the week or a lazy Saturday afternoon on the couch sharing the newspaper and sipping tea, the decision was simple.

After their shower, the evening passed at a leisurely pace. The women sat cross-legged on the couch sipping beer, the half eaten pizza congealing on the coffee table as they watched The Breakfast Club on cable for what seemed like the umpteenth time.

Abbie drained her second beer of the evening and set it on the floor next to the couch. Extending her legs, she turned, resting her head on Alex's thigh. She wriggled around until she found comfort, Alex's hand smoothing over her hair when she stilled.

The weight of the week settled upon the women. Alex stifled a yawn, stretching her back. It was still early, but Abbie's breathing had slowed to a tell-tale deep inhale, exhale pattern and she knew without even looking that she was asleep. She raked the hair away from Abbie's face, kissing her hairline. Abbie stirred, blinking sleepily up at Alex.

"Ready for bed?" Alex's voice was quiet.

Abbie was remiss to admit that she was exhausted. She had crammed two days worth of work into one so she could cut out early and surprise Alex and now she was paying the price. The irony of the situation was not lost on her. Abbie rubbed her eyes. "Yeah," she rasped, swinging her legs off the couch. Abbie stumbled towards the bedroom dragging Alex behind her.

She woke in a jumble of arms and legs. Abbie couldn't understand how two people could get so tangled over the course of eight hours. The sun warmed the foot of the bed. Abbie looked down at Alex's head on her shoulder, still sound asleep. She couldn't feel her arm. Abbie studied her girlfriend's sleeping features. Her face was so child-like when she slept, so unguarded. A far cry from the fiercely competitive lawyer she fell in love with a year and a half ago.

Reflexively, Abbie kissed the corner of Alex's mouth. The blonde expelled a contented sigh, rubbing her face against Abbie's shoulder. It wasn't long before her blue eyes opened and blinked lazily up at Abbie. She smiled. "You're still here."

"You've done a fine job at making sure I couldn't go anywhere," Abbie smirked, motioning to their twisted limbs with her free arm.

Alex unhooked her foot from under the brunette's leg, unweaving their appendages and scooted up to touch her lips to Abbie's. "So what do you want to do today?" she asked eagerly.

The pins and needles buzzed through her arm as she shrugged lamely. "Lunch, a matinee, maybe a nice dinner out?"

"Shit." Alex squeezed her eyes shut.

"What? No good?"

"No, it's just I forgot something."

"Like?" Abbie raised her eyebrows expectantly.

"I'm supposed to have lunch with Olivia today."

"Ah." Abbie felt a twinge of jealousy rise up in her chest. She knew exactly how much time an ADA and an SVU detective spent together. The late nights, the early mornings, the witness prep sessions, the case progress reports, the working lunches, and the seemingly innocent mid-afternoon calls for search warrants. But more than that, she knew first hand the temptations that accompanied a woman like Olivia Benson.

"I can cancel," Alex offered.

"No, it's fine. It's my fault."

"We'll just go together. You two can reminisce about old times. It'll be fun."

Abbie winced internally. She was fairly sure that she was in hell or she would be sometime around lunchtime. Lunch with the woman that never was and the one that is. "Fun," she nodded and forced a smile.

Part Three

The upscale bistro was bustling with an unusually large lunch crowd. Alex trailed the hostess to the table where Olivia was seated. The detective smiled when she spotted her. "Wow, Alex, you're looking rest-" Her smile turned peculiar as Abbie rounded the corner behind the blonde. "-ted."

"Thanks, I hope you don't mind... I brought someone along. I caught her committing a B and E on my apartment last night." Alex tossed a smile over her shoulder.

"Not at all." An awkward silence fell over the women.

The hostess returned with another chair and place setting before retreating. Abbie motioned for Alex to sit, pushing her chair in as she did.

"Been a while, Abbie... how's DC treating you?"

Abbie took two long strides to her own chair leveling her gaze on Olivia before she sat. "Reasonably."

Alex watched the two women curiously. Neither had ever expressed a dislike for the other and yet Abbie was staring Olivia down like a felon and for her part Olivia was fidgeting uncomfortably in the shadow of her glare.

Abbie lifted her menu separating herself from the scene she had created. "So what's good here?"

Alex swallowed. "The, uh, gnocchi's good. I think you'd like the Portobello mushroom ravioli."

"Come here often, do you?" Abbie said, lowering her menu just long enough to sting Alex with her gaze.

"The capellini with grilled chicken is my favorite," Olivia interjected.

Abbie cleared her throat from behind her menu. "Yes, well, you always did like chicken."

Alex's mouth dropped, choking on the venom that hovered above the table. "Is there something I should know here?"

Abbie lowered her menu to the table and gave Olivia a cautious look - the shake of her head barely detectable - before turning her attention to Alex. Her smile was unsettling. "No, of course not, just an inside joke from the good old days. Right, Liv?"

"Yeah," the detective nodded slowly.

"So how's Elliot?" Abbie folded her hands on the table, her deflection attempt full steam ahead.

"He's good," Olivia nodded congenially. "Oh, Alex I meant to tell you that we got the ME's report after you left last night. Elliot said he'd finish the paperwork on the Garrison interrogation. You should have it on your desk Monday morning."

The women trailed off into work talk. Abbie was grateful to be excluded. She sat back and watched the women's familiar mannerisms and, more importantly, the way they related to one another. It was a poker game and Abbie was trying to spot their 'tells.' Alex's hand found its way to Abbie's knee, squeezing as she spoke to the other woman. A lamb to the slaughter, she thought.

The rest of their lunch passed without much incident. Abbie did enjoy the ravioli, and Alex was attentive despite Olivia's presence. She was still marginally bothered by the thought of her ex-girlfriend and her current girlfriend being such good friends. More than that was the fact that they seemed to have play dates more often that she cared to know about. But Olivia didn't seem to have Alex in her proverbial sights. Her eyes, however, still lingered on Abbie when she thought nobody would notice. But Abbie noticed and so did Alex.

With the check settled, the congenial goodbyes, and enthusiastic promises of 'we must do this again' from Alex, the couple made their way to the door. Abbie put a bit more swing in her stride, knowing that Olivia was watching her leave.

Alex rested her head on Abbie's shoulder as the cab weaved through the streets. She slipped her hand under Abbie's, lacing their fingers together. Despite the constant silence since they had left the restaurant, Abbie curled her fingers in response.

"So how long did it last?" Alex asked softly.

Abbie grimaced, thankful that Alex couldn't see her reaction to the question. She sighed, defeated. "Two months."

"And you ended it?"

"I like to think that it was over before it began." Abbie watched the rain bead on the window.

"What happened?" Alex set her chin on Abbie's shoulder, watching her face.

"I just-" Abbie scrunched her face in irritation. "Do we have to talk about this? It's over. It ended badly. Why does it matter?"

"I guess it doesn't." Alex released Abbie's hand and retreated to the other side of the seat.

"Shouldn't I be alarmed that you're the one spending six days a week with another woman?"

Alex gaped at her. "She's my friend. That's it. I never see you, Abbie, you're in DC and I'm here, what do you want me to do? Go to work and come home and not talk to anybody but you?" Abbie was silent, staring through the Plexiglas divider. "If this was such a big deal, why you didn't you tell me? Why didn't Olivia tell me? How am I supposed to be accommodating if I don't know what the hell's going on?"

Biting her lip, Abbie shook her head. "We've never had the ex talk, Alex. When was the right time to say 'hey, you know your best friend? Had her.'"

"You know that's not what I mean."

The cab slowed as it pulled to the curb in front of Alex's building. She dug a few bills from her purse and passed them to the driver before making a hasty retreat up the steps to her apartment. Abbie watched the cab speed away, Alex was already in the building and she was alone on the sidewalk in the rain. How appropriate. She couldn't believe how out of control things had gotten. So much for a nice relaxing, stress-free weekend.

Alex was curled into a corner of the couch, a stack of files next to her when Abbie entered the apartment a few minutes later. She was working, which was definitely not a good development. Abbie and Alex were more alike than different; their chief coping mechanism was work. The work always came first. It was work that brought them together, Abbie's reluctance to give it up and move on to a new position, Alex's hunger for her new assignment. So it had come to this.

Abbie moved the stack of files to the coffee table. Alex continued to study the file in her lap, scribbling notes on a legal pad as she went. She adjusted her glasses as Abbie filled the cushion next to her.

"Look," Abbie said, tucking her hair behind her ears. "I just didn't think it was important. Would you really have wanted to know that I slept with someone you were going to be working with every day? Do you think you would have, could have become friends if I had told you?"

She dropped her pen. Pulling the glasses from her face, Alex met her gaze. "That was a year and a half ago."

"Is it any more relevant now?"

"You didn't even give me a chance to deal with it, Abbie. You just hid it from me." Alex sighed. "I just think that at this stage of our relationship we should already know things like this. I'm starting to wonder if this is even working or if we should just throw in the towel. We're stunted, not moving forward, not moving backwards, we're just stuck in different places. I want to be with you, Abbie, don't get me wrong. I just don't think I can do that with you in DC."

Abbie sucked in a breath. "You want me to move back to New York?" Alex just stared into her eyes, as if the answer to her question was waiting there in plain sight. "You know I can't do that."

"Then I guess we have some decisions to make." Alex sat back pursing her lips.

"Don't do this." Alex couldn't look at her anymore. "You know this is worth it, Alex, or I wouldn't still be here after all this time."

Alex dropped her head, studying the glasses in her hand. "I just want to be in a normal relationship. It's been this way since day one, Abbie. Always wondering when I'll see you again, coordinating schedules, late night phone calls, lack of sleep. I don't know how much longer I can do this with no end in sight."

"I'll visit more often. We can do this, you know we can." Abbie squeezed her hand, willing her resolve to transfer to her girlfriend.

"I just want to be close to you," Alex said quietly, looking at their hands.

"I know," she whispered.

Part Four

Abbie lifted the file from Alex's lap and set it on the floor. She tugged the blonde's shoulder drawing Alex into her chest. Alex sighed, her head falling into the crook of Abbie's neck as she wrapped her arms around her girlfriend's waist.

"We're okay, aren't we?" Abbie asked quietly.

Alex lifted her head, her expression serious. "That depends on one thing."

Abbie swallowed hard, her partner's stare was alarming. "What?"

"You haven't slept with any of my other coworkers, have you?" A slow smirk crept across her face.

Abbie groaned and fell backwards onto the couch. "Don't do that to me!"

Laughing, Alex hovered above her. Abbie was relieved to see her smile again. Life never was without its twists and turns, she was just thankful that she didn't skitter off the trail this time. Her smile spread to her eyes as she watched Alex have a good laugh at her expense. It was a release that had probably been building for weeks.

Sometimes, when she felt the stress of her job bearing down on her she would find herself lying in bed alone - after working a fourteen hour day - laughing uncontrollably. Laughing about things that weren't funny, but laughing until her stomach hurt and her eyes watered.

Alex sniffled as her laughing subsided. She fell into the crook of Abbie's arm and tried to catch her breath. "What am I going to do with you?"

"You still up for that movie?" Abbie stroked her blonde hair.

"I could think of a few other things I'd rather be doing in the dark for two hours, what about you?" Alex flipped over to face Abbie.

"I'll admit I'm intrigued." Abbie's head inched forward, her fingers tangling with Alex's.

The blonde closed the gap, her lips brushing softly against Abbie's. Her eyes fluttered shut at the contact. Alex tilted her head, her tongue slipping past Abbie's lips. It was a slow and comfortable kiss.

Alex shifted, lifting herself slightly to gain better access to her lover's mouth. Her tongue lazily stroked in and out of Abbie's mouth as the brunette's fingers played at the nape of her neck. A shiver ran through Alex, a familiar thrill echoing through her lover's body.

Her fingers slipped through Abbie's, tickling her palm as they pulled away. A few glancing caresses across her stomach and the blonde was leisurely kneading her breast in time with their kiss.

Abbie sighed, squeezing Alex's shoulder. Her lover drew her own fingertips together, closing the brunette's nipple between them. The pressure was so light, applied so carefully, that Abbie relaxed further into Alex's mouth. It wasn't until the fingertips twisted ever so slightly that she felt the twitch of arousal tense her muscles.

The blonde's tongue retreated, her lips shifting to trail a line of wet kisses along her jaw. Her nose nudged Abbie's earlobe before her mouth covered her pulse point. Abbie's heart pounded hard against her tongue as it swept across her neck. She lingered there enjoying the catch in Abbie's breath every time her tongue moved against her skin.

The cold air settled onto her neck as Alex's mouth moved lower, nipping at her collarbone, her tongue dipping into the hollow it found there. Her hands were beneath Abbie's thin sweater, thumbs strumming her ribs as she pushed the shirt higher.

Alex's palms pressed into the silky material of her bra. They diverged, following the crinkle of elastic around to Abbie's back where they met again as the clasp popped open. Abbie's arms crossed over her chest, lifting the gathered material of her sweater and bra over her head before settling back against the cushions.

The crook in Alex's eyebrow and the mischievous sparkle in her blue eyes as her mouth descended upon the skin of Abbie's stomach made her feel faint. Teeth tugged at her bellybutton and her tongue left wet patterns on her abdomen before Abbie felt a whoosh of hot air across her nipple.

Alex hovered there, waiting for Abbie's reaction as she inhaled and exhaled above the tender nub. It wasn't until Abbie shifted - an inaudible grunt catching in her throat - that Alex ended the silent torture.

How did she do that, Abbie wondered before Alex's tongue swept over her, stealing all coherent thought with its broad strokes. The slow nod of Alex's head as her mouth warmed her breast lulled Abbie into her rhythm. The blonde's tongue danced over her nipple and she recognized its pattern from their kisses. Slow and deliberate, she was making love with her mouth and Abbie was slowly slipping into oblivion.

Her fingernails scraped along the line of exposed skin at Alex's waist. It wasn't long before Abbie's hands were beneath her shirt, smoothing over the bare skin of her back as the blonde's head drifted from one breast to the other.

Abbie knew that Alex could go on like this all night and while she didn't object to the attention that was being lavished upon her, she was anxious to please her girlfriend. Alex felt her growing restless but refused to relinquish control. Abbie began to squirm, her thighs rubbing together in an attempt to find some pleasure for herself.

The blonde's hand covered Abbie's knee, pulling it away from the other, ceasing the swish of fabric between her legs. Abbie growled, her head pushing back into the pillows in frustration. "You're driving me crazy."

Alex lifted her head and licked her lips. She calmly raised an eyebrow. "That's the point."

Abbie groaned and made a move to grab her breast. Her wandering hand was diverted with a well placed swat. Alex's lips were against her ear. "Behave," she whispered. Her breath warmed Abbie's neck.

It had become apparent to Abbie that Alex was getting back at her for today. She always had more control over her arousal than Abbie did, but this was a particularly cruel demonstration even for Alex, she thought.

In the beginning it was a sore spot for them. Abbie's sexual appetite was voracious on a good day, but with a new lover it was unmatched. Alex had been reluctant to open herself up to distraction so early on in her new assignment, but Abbie was insistent in her pursuit of the idealistic ADA. Her intentions weren't exactly honorable, either. Abbie wanted a fling plain and simple. But as with everything that came with the woman she grew to love, she got more than she bargained for.

Kind of like right now.

Alex was kissing her navel, her tongue swirling around Abbie's bellybutton. Her wool slacks hung open. The blonde trailed her index finger under the waistband of Abbie's panties as her mouth moved to the curve of her belly. Alex pushed the slacks off her hips, her hands taking care to caress her girlfriend's ass as they went.

It was becoming too much for Abbie to bear. She was lying there - her only stitch of clothing a pair of black panties - and Alex was folding her pants. Excruciating didn't even begin to describe the situation.

"Alex, please," she pleaded, running a hand up the back of the blonde's thigh.

Alex hung the pants over the back of the couch, brushing imaginary lint from them. She glanced at Abbie's outstretched arm that had slipped around her thigh to her stomach. Alex lifted her hand away and brought it to her mouth kissing the knuckles one by one. Her blue eyes locked onto Abbie's face as she guided a finger into her mouth. Her shudder was visible which did nothing to discourage the slow sensory assault Alex was exacting on her body.

Her tongue flicked against Abbie's fingertip, enveloping the digit as it stroked its length.

"Jesus," Abbie exhaled.

Alex sucked the finger as she pulled it from her mouth. She set the limp hand on Abbie's bare stomach before returning her attention to the flesh laid out in front of her like a Sunday brunch buffet. Abbie inwardly hoped that the hungry look in her eyes meant she'd be getting down to business.

But instead of pulling off her panties and putting her mouth where Abbie so desperately wanted it, she only pushed the material away from her hip and pressed her lips against the protruding bone she had uncovered.

Alex's tongue flashed over the skin there before her head moved away. She trailed kisses over Abbie's hip, delighting in the curve between her waist and thigh. Her hands traveled across Abbie's stomach leaving goosebumps in their wake.

Alex's lips spread a fantastic warmth across her skin. Abbie's hand tangled in the blonde's hair as her mouth dipped lower. Abbie sucked in a breath expectantly, but the touch didn't come. Hands smoothed over her thighs, fingertips tickling the soft skin behind Abbie's knees.

Alex's hands retraced their earlier route. Abbie's breath caught again, feeling her lover's fingernails scrape across the fabric between her legs. Abbie tensed at the slight contact, she willed herself not to lose control just yet. It could only get better.

She knew Alex was watching her, enjoying the torment, the complete control she wielded over the situation. It wasn't often that Abbie let herself be taken even after all of their time together. But today there was something in the blonde's eyes telling her that Alex needed to reclaim a modicum of control within their relationship. If Abbie could give that to her by baring herself, then so be it, even if it was just a token gesture and not the sacrifice Alex had originally asked of her. One thing at a time.

Part Five

Her thoughts were chased away as Alex's slender fingers slid beneath the material at either side of her hips, gently pulling her panties away. Abbie watched as the blonde's eyes traveled the length of her body, appraising. A satisfied smiled tugged at her lips as her eyes met Abbie's. Her hands roamed her bare body deftly avoiding the obvious zones, opting instead for the sensitive skin of her inner elbow, a fleeting caress of her long fingers, a soft nip on her shoulder and a single mind-melting kiss.

She knew exactly where Abbie liked to be touched and how, which is what made the experience all that more agonizing. Her caresses were just enough to make her shake, but never enough to allow Abbie to enjoy the full blown pleasure she was accustomed to.

Abbie's lips chased Alex as she slipped away, dropping off the couch. Abbie fell back against the pillows in defeat and licked her lips as her lover settled onto the floor next to her.

Alex guided a hand between her thighs, the other gently pulling Abbie's knees apart. She raked the backs of her fingers over the brunette's inner thigh and Abbie's toes curled instinctually at the contact. With each pass, Alex's hand loomed closer to her desire. Abbie twitched at the slight contact of a fingertip tracing its way through the junction of her thigh and hip. The hand came to rest on Abbie's hip, her thumb hooking around the bone as her mouth pressed against the neat mound of dark curls.

Abbie braced herself for the touch that would end her torment. Alex's thumb drew lazy circles as her mouth grew bolder, nipping at her inner thigh. Abbie could almost feel her, Alex's breath rustling the imaginary cobwebs at her core.

"Alex," she called out desperately. Stretching her name as far as the two syllables would allow.

"Abigail," Alex said simply, a smirk coloring her words. Her mouth wandered to the other thigh, her lips and tongue assaulting the flesh with the same tender ferocity she had shown the rest of her body.

Abbie groaned. "Don't ever call me that when you're doing," she expelled a ragged breath, "that."

Alex grinned. Abbie could barely see her face but she knew she was smiling. She could feel her teeth against her skin but more importantly, it was the crinkle at the corner of Alex's eyes that gave it away. A big shit-eating grin if there ever was one.

She was seriously considering stomping off to the bedroom to take care of the problem herself when Alex's mouth moved. She was so close now, pressing at the skin beside her sex.

Abbie felt like she was going to hyperventilate. As hard as she tried she couldn't take a lungful of air, instead inhaling and exhaling short gulps as the excitement trampled her chest. It wasn't until Alex's tongue slid between her folds that Abbie was able to fill her lungs, but the air left her as quickly as it had come when she moaned. She was delirious, overcome.

Clearly, everything that had preceded this was just a warm up. Alex's tongue stroked her with the most delicious expertise. It couldn't have been this good the last time. Surely, Abbie would have remembered something like. this. Alex's lips closed over Abbie's clit, sucking it gently.

Abbie's hips moved in slow circles as she focused on the soft pull of her lover's lips. Two fingers entered her suddenly as her hips pressed into the cushion. A jolt shot through her as the fingers were pushed as deep as they could go.

Abbie clawed at the couch, head back, mouth agape, her throat constricting with a series of guttural moans. In and out, she squeezed her lover's fingers, her hips countering the rhythm that Alex set.

Even in her glorious stupor Abbie gradually became aware of Alex's growing arousal. Gone were the controlled taunting touches and in their place one hand gripped her hip roughly, the other lost its rhythm to her excitement between Abbie's legs and her mouth moved frantically against her. She could hear Alex's ragged breathing even as her own arousal mounted.

Alex's tongue continued the onslaught, her head moving along as she increased the pressure of her strokes. Abbie gripped the back of the couch, every muscle in her body growing taut with effort. She raised her leg, digging her heel into the couch as she found the leverage she was looking for. Abbie lifted her hips to press against Alex's diabolical mouth. With the new angle, Alex thrust deeper. Once, twice, and it was all over. Abbie tore at the couch, her hips high above the cushions. Alex had to crane her neck to keep contact, her hand furiously working in and out as her girlfriend's body trembled until she was finally spent.

Abbie landed with a thump as her foot lost its grip on the edge of the couch. Alex sat back on her heels licking her lips, appreciating her handy work. Abbie panted one hand on her chest as if she was willing her heart to slow. Not content to sit back and watch any longer, Alex crawled onto the couch, straddling her lover's hips.

Abbie's hands were on her before she had settled. Alex knew that crawling into Abbie's lap was tantamount to climbing into a safari exhibit at the zoo. She was offering herself up to be eaten alive and Abbie didn't disappoint, descending upon her body with the same ravenous intensity as a starving lion on a wounded gazelle.

Her clothes were quickly piling up on the floor as Abbie was not one to take the time to fold them. She was about living in the moment, not planning for the inevitability of dry cleaning bills or the inconvenience of ironing. And why should Alex care anyway? Something that felt this good was worth a trip to the dry cleaner, even after a 10 hour day.

Abbie's arms slid beneath Alex's thighs, lifting her slightly as she spun them on the couch. The air left Alex's lungs in a whoosh as her back thumped against the cushions. Abbie nestled herself between Alex's legs and her mouth descended upon her again. Alex shifted slightly as Abbie's tongue thrashed around recklessly in her mouth and she moaned. Abbie's hips pressed firmly between her legs, pulling back only to thrust forward again. Her hands fumbled with the button of Alex's pants, growling in frustration before drawing back to yank the offending article off.

When Alex had been stripped of every last stitch, Abbie covered her again. Her lover's skin was still sticky with sweat creating a delicious friction when their breasts pressed together. Alex stretched beneath her, letting the pleasure course through her muscles as her lover's eager mouth devoured her.

Unlike Abbie, Alex routinely enjoyed being swept up in her lover's frenzy. Sure, she enjoyed control more than the average person, but when it came to Abbie there was nothing better than lying back and letting her have free reign. The way she touched her was never the same. Sometimes her hands were reverential, careful in their smooth languid strokes. Others they were rough, cutting to the chase and hastily taking what they wanted but never without affection or concern for her needs.

As much as Alex wanted to stretch her own pleasure out, she couldn't resist the way Abbie's knee pressed against her as her hand rubbed her sex, her mouth sucking Alex's nipple roughly.

Abbie's excitement mounted as her lover moaned, moving beneath her. It wasn't long before she was whispering filthy words against Alex's neck in her best bedroom voice - the soft rasp, a tinge of twang coloring the lewd words as they left her mouth. Words that would normally make the blonde's skin flush with embarrassment only heightened her sexual experience as they spilled across her skin in the heat of the moment. She was unable to refrain from lifting her own knee between Abbie's legs. Abbie needed no prompting, taking her cue immediately. She rocked against Alex's thigh, spreading the warm evidence of their previous encounter across her skin.

Alex clung to her lover, nails digging deep into her back as she pressed roughly against her leg. Her breath was coming in short bursts against her neck as the hand between her legs had increased to an impossible speed. Alex sunk her teeth into the brunette's shoulder as her orgasm crested. Wave after wave washed over her as Abbie rode her thigh.

The brunette lifted herself onto one trembling arm. Her hand gripped the arm of the couch as she pressed down hard against Alex's leg. Her hair hung to one side, her eyes closed in concentration, the muscles of her stomach flexing with each thrust. Alex forced her eyes open to watch her lover as the last of her orgasm coursed through her. Abbie drew back one last time before landing a bruising thrust against her thigh. Her head fell to the side, a sharp guttural cry escaping, as she shook hard.

Alex ignored the pain burning the muscles in her leg and tried hard to memorize Abbie's features as they contorted again. The lines in her forehead, the way one eyebrow lifted on its own, and the dimples that creased her cheeks as she bit her lip in pleasure. Alex lowered her leg when her lover stilled, bringing Abbie down to her level. Abbie buried her face in the blonde's hair, her breath slowing as the sweat beaded on her back. They were silent for a long while, Abbie's breathing grew deep, her relaxation and exhaustion apparent.

"How did that compare?" Alex asked quietly.

"To what?" Abbie rasped, kissing her neck.

"Olivia." Abbie froze. The name stung them both as soon as it left her lips.

Abbie raised her head and decided to try levity. "Alex," she brushed a hair from the blonde's face, "you're obsessing."

Her tactic failed miserably. Alex turned away and closed her eyes. Abbie sighed. She propped herself up on one arm so Alex could see her face when she said what her girlfriend needed to hear.

"Alex." Abbie waited for her to meet her gaze. When her blue eyes shifted back to Abbie's face she continued. "The only person I'm thinking about when we are together is you. There's nothing to compare."

Alex nodded. She knew it was silly in her heart of hearts. Jealousy was Abbie's domain, Alex just wrestled with run of the mill insecurities and they had worried enough of their weekend away. Alex resolved to end the foolishness then and there. She kissed Abbie softly.

Outside the clouds had cleared and the soft orange glow of the setting sun warmed the living room. She was lying naked and sweaty beneath the only woman that she could honestly see giving up everything for. She would never tell Abbie that, of course. There was, after all, a power balance that needed to be maintained in their relationship and tipping her hand could only lead to disaster. In time she'd know, but at that moment she was content to bask in the simple pleasure of being naked together in the dying light of the afternoon sun. There was no place on earth she'd rather be.

The End

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